CAIRO: Egyptian diver Ahmed Gamal Gabr, 42, has set the world scuba diving depth record, submerging to 332.35 meters off the Red Sea resort of Dahab on Thursday, and emerging Friday to best the previous record of 318.25 meters set by South African Nuno Gomez in 2005.
Gabr used 92 diving cylinders in his now Guinness World Records-recognized attempt, Tarek Huweidi, Gabr’s marketing director, told Youm7 Saturday.
Gabr, formerly of Egypt’s naval special forces and now a dive instructor, descended into Dahab’s shiny, warm waters at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. He emerged from its dark, cold waters at 12:20 a.m. Friday, according to Huweidi.
It only took Gabr 12 minutes to reach the record-breaking depth, originally planned to be 350 meters. The 14-hour dive time was necessary, however, to offset the effects of water pressure on his return to the surface. Gabr even remained for two hours at a depth of only three meters before surfacing. He used over 60 gas tanks in his descent, which were filled with oxygen, nitrogen, helium and hydrogen—a special cocktail planned specifically for Gabr and the depths and time he was to spend in the water.
Huweidi said his client went through four years of strict training with an eye on hitting the record, including psychological training to handle the extreme water pressure’s effects on the mind—as well as the body—at that depth.
Doctors examined Gabr before and after his dive to make sure his health was not poorly affected.
Additional reporting by Ali Abdel Rahman.